Curnow, McKay star as Blues pound Eagles

Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay kicked five goals each in a critical one-two punch to help Carlton thrash West Coast by 63 points at Optus Stadium.

The Blues led 34-0 at quarter-time of Sunday’s AFL clash but West Coast hit back with a seven-goal blitz in the second term to claw the margin back to 10 points by half-time.

Charlie Curnow was instrumental in Carlton’s win over the Eagles.Credit:Getty Images

Curnow had three goals in the first half, but it was his two goals in the third quarter that proved decisive.

The 25-year-old’s set-shot snap from the pocket helped edge the momentum back Carlton’s way, and he popped up late in the third term with a clutch pack mark and 50-metre set shot to give the Blues a 17-point lead at the final break.

McKay then broke West Coast’s spirit with two goals early in the final term as Carlton landed the final eight goals of the match to win 17.14 (116) to 8.5 (53).

Curnow finished with 5.3 and eight marks from 16 disposals, while McKay kicked 5.3 to go with his seven marks.

Jacob Weitering competes for a mark.Credit:AFL Photos

The win lifted Carlton (11-5) to fifth spot, just percentage adrift of the fourth-placed Brisbane Lions ahead of Saturday night’s blockbuster against ladder leaders Geelong at the MCG.

Andrew Gaff racked up 30 disposals and six clearances for the Eagles, while Shannon Hurn was a rock in a besieged defence.

The inside-50 count read 17-0 in favour of Carlton before West Coast finally made it into attack at the 18-minute mark of the opening term.

Curnow feasted on West Coast’s ineptitude to boot two goals in the opening quarter, while McKay, Sam Durdin, and Zac Fisher also got in on the act as Carlton entered quarter-time leading 5.4 (34) to 0.0 (0).

West Coast coach Adam Simpson unleashed a fierce spray at quarter-time and the Eagles responded with their stunning seven-goal second term.

Carlton struggled to cope with the unexpected lift in tempo, with skipper Patrick Cripps banging the turf in frustration after being caught holding the ball with the goalposts in sight.

The margin was just nine points early in the third quarter when Eagles forward Josh Kennedy registered his 700th career goal for West Coast.

But from there it was one-way traffic, with Carlton booting the next eight goals on the back of Cripps starring in the midfield to run away with the win.

The result marked Carlton’s first win over West Coast since 2014, snapping a run of seven straight losses.

CARLTON 5.4 8.7 10.10 17.14 (116)
WEST COAST 0.0 7.3 8.5 8.5 (53)

GOALS
Carlton: McKay 5, Curnow 5, Fisher 2, Durdin 2, Cottrell, Cripps, Walsh.
West Coast: Waterman 2, Kennedy 2, Rioli, Darling, Foley, Williams.
BEST
Carlton: Curnow, Docherty, McKay, Kennedy.
West Coast: Hurn, Gaff, Duggan, Redden.
INJURIES
Carlton: Newnes (corked leg).
West Coast: Petruccelle (hamstring).
UMPIRES Haussen, Brown, Whetton.
CROWD 43,359 at Optus Stadium.

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